Lots of local products are beginning to come to market. We have local cabbage, corn, blueberries, peppers, squash, zucchini all getting started. We’re looking forward to a great growing season, and with the weather finally drying out the farmers are able to harvest all of the products that are coming off now. This is a great time of year to feature NC produce. Local farmers are beginning their tomato season and we’ve been seeing local heirlooms and should be receiving some really nice Vine Ripened tomatoes this coming week!
The early freeze that Idaho experienced last fall during harvest has manifested itself as a sudden mess in their packing sheds. During the early part of the pandemic, tremendous retail demand wiped out much of their storage supplies, but then lack of demand due to foodservice accounts being closed gave them a glut they were trying to move. Then as they were nearing the end of their storage supplies in summer, quality issues ended many of the farmers seasons early. Suddenly there’s a huge shortage of Idaho potatoes until they begin harvesting again in September.
Green pepper is short nationwide with Georgia finishing their season a bit early and other areas coming on slowly. High green pepper prices always push red and yellow pepper prices up as farmers elect to sell colored pepper as green to reap the higher markets. NC and New Jersey have increased their production but prices haven’t changed for the better yet.
All lettuces, but especially iceberg and romaine are extremely tight right now and expected to stay that way for a while. During the first part of the restaurant shutdowns, many farmers disked up their fields as there was no reason to harvest it with so little foodservice demand. Then they were slow to replant and incur those expenses when they didn’t know when restaurants would reopen. It takes about 60 days to grow a head of lettuce, so about 60 days from a couple of weeks ago when restaurants started re-opening, they should begin harvesting again. Most fields were only planted at a fraction of what they normally plant, though, as the farmers didn’t want to risk losing it again until the demand for what they were growing was there again. We are growing our own local living lettuce now though, so that is a great option for beautiful and delicate lettuces.
Strawberry suppliers are facing very strong demand and most shippers are extremely limited on supplies. California production is trending downward and farmers cannot catch up.
Q: What’s blue and not very heavy?
A: Light blue